Summer Memes Make Me Feel Fine: Pickle

Spicey’s out, The Mooch is loose and Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been at the podium facing reporters every day. Albeit, she started a rather odd tradition in her first White House Press Secretary: reading Donald Trump’s fan mail.

If you missed this amidst the healthcare/Mooch/Russia/general insanity in Washington, here’s a brief recap. On Wednesday, SHS announced she’ll be doing something new at the top of the daily briefing, reading letters from people who write to the president, and incidentally talking about how much they love him. The first is from 9-year-old Dylan Harbin, who also goes by the nickname Pickle. SHS read his letter outloud (and answered his questions – and gave her regards from the president to Pickle). Here is his handwritten letter:

But of course this all seemed fishy (besides feeling like straight up North Korea propaganda shit), and the geniuses of Twitter weren’t letting this Pickle story slide. I mean, is Pickle even real?? After all, Donald Trump Jr. used to have a doll called Captain Pickle AND Mike Pence’s cat is named Pickle. COINCIDENCE?!? The answer is unfortunately yes he’s real, BTW. But before the Washington Post conducted their investigative report, the jury was still out. And here are some of the Twitter jury’s best responses to #PickleGate 2017.

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Black History Spotlight #5: Alice Allison Dunnigan

All this month, we’ve been shining a spotlight on prominent black history makers. From Frederick Douglass to Marsha P. Johnson, we’ve learned a few things about Americans who helped make this country great, and hope you did too. We’re closing out the month with Alice Allison Dunnigan, a black female reporter, whose beat was politics – primarily in the White House. Read on to see what life was like for a female journalist of color back in the day.

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/1/ Teen Prodigy

Alice first bit the journalism bug at age 13, when she started writing for the Owensboro Enterprise, the local paper in her home state of Kentucky. Although the extent of her contribution was only one-sentence news items, the experience left her knowing she wanted to be a reporter.

/2/ History Has Its Eyes On You

AT the time, black kids were only allowed 10 years of education, but Alice Allison decided to go further and attended Kentucky State University, where she completed a teaching course. She used her degree to become a history teacher in the Todd County School System, which was still segregated. While teaching her black kids, she noticed most of them had no idea of the contributions African-Americans had made to the state, so she made it her goal to educate them. Alice Allison then made “Kentucky Fact Sheets”, and gave them to her students as supplements to the required text in class. In 1939, the papers were collected for publication, but due to the political climate, no publisher was willing to print them. But in 1982, Associated Publishers Inc. finally took the papers to press and made the sheets into a publication called The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians: Their Heritage and Tradition. Alice Allison was a teacher in Kentucky public schools from 1924 to 1942, but because she wasn’t exactly getting paid the big bucks, she still worked small jobs in the summer, like a housekeeper and washing tombstones in the white cemetery.

/3/ A Full Time Job

But when she ended her teaching tenure in 1942, it was because she took on a call for government workers in Washington, D.C. during World War II. While she worked in her federal government job, she took night classes at Howard University,and by 1946, she was offered a job writing for the Chicago Defender newspaper as a Washington correspondent. The black-owned publication never used “negro” or “black”, but rather used the phrase “The Race” in reference to African-Americans. However, the down side to this was that the editor of the Defender was unsure of her writing abilities strictly because she was a women, she he paid her much less than her male co-workers until she could prove her worth.

/4/ HBIC

In 1947, served as a writer for the Washington bureau of the Associated Negro Press. During her time there, she sought credentials to become a member of the Senate and House of Representatives press galleries, but it didn’t come without a fight. The government denied her requests, citing the fact she wasn’t writing for a daily newspaper (a requirement for reporters covering the Capitol), but rather a weekly publication. It took six months, but she was finally granted clearance and became the bureau chief of the Associated Negro Press for the next 14 years.

/5/ White House Correspondent Years

In addition to being the first black female member of the Senate and House press galleries, she made history yet again in 1948, when she was named a White House correspondent, and again was the first black female to ever hold that title. In fact, she was only one of three African-Americans, one of two women in the press corps, and the first black woman elected to the Women’s National Press Club.

Of course, Alice Allison’s milestones didn’t come without a price. Segregation was still instituted throughout most of her time in Washington – during President Eisenhower’s eight years in office, he went from not calling on her at all to asking her for her questions beforehand (something no one else had to do). She was barred from entering some venues to cover him, and even had to sit with servants to cover Senator Taft’s funeral. When John F. Kennedy took his place in the Oval Office, he was the exact opposite and welcomed questions from Alice Allison, who was known as a hard-hitting reporter.

/6/ Working With the President

Speaking of JFK, he named her the education consultant on the President’s Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity in 1961. In 1967, she became an associate editor with the President’s Commission on Youth Opportunity, but left in 1968 when Nixon and his Republican team took over the White House.

/7/ Back to the Books

Following her career in Washington, she decided to tell her story in an autobiography, and penned a book titled A Black Woman’s Experience: From Schoolhouse to White House, which was published in 1974. A detail not covered in her book – she received more than 50 journalism awards for her groundbreaking work.

Dream “Take Your Child To Work Day” Scenarios

Did any of you participate in Take Your Child To Work Day as a kid? The correct answer is “no” – because when we were kids, it was still called “Take Your Daughter To Work Day.” It was part of that earnest early ’90s Murphy Brown feminism that sort of aggressively told  girls “you can be anything! You can do anything! Someday maybe you’ll own a briefcase!” I mean, it was started by the Ms. Foundation and Gloria Steinem. But even when Take Your Daughter To Work Day began in 1993, kids were way ahead of that mentality — it was mostly the product of adults who had grown up in the 1950s when there weren’t so many options. I remember being mostly confused by the holiday, like I already knew I could have a job, but everyone making such a fuss about it made me realize that somewhere somebody was saying I couldn’t? Nice try though, Gloria. It was a weird time and my main priorities were Rugrats and Dunkaroos, to be honest. Apparently my parents were confused too, because I never attended. To be fair, my mother taught in my school, so every day was Take Your Daughter To Work Day.

Still, I couldn’t help but be jealous of my classmates who got to cut school and tag along with their parents for the day. Well, I was jealous of SOME of them. If your parents had cool jobs, you’d come to school the next day with tales of amazing experiments and adventures and free swag that you got. And then some kids just sat in an office playing Gameboy. Here are some Take Your Daughter To Work Day scenarios that would have blown my mind as a kiddo – or Take Your Child To Work Day, or Take Your Daughter Or Son To Work Day, however you roll. Did any of you go to work with your parents, or are you taking your kids now? And was it fun, or just another day at the office?

Veterinarian Or Zookeeper

Oh hell yes. This is it. What kid wouldn’t love getting to hang out with cats and dogs all day and using cool medical equipment? It’s like if your parent were a doctor, but even better because there aren’t all those pesky humans. Also, zookeeper. Or really any zoo employee. Why do I think most zoos put on amazing Take Your Child To Work Days? And can you imagine getting to go behind the scenes to see how they take care of the animals? Man. I wish my parents were zookeepers.

News Anchor

All I know is this. I worked my tiny butt off in children’s acting classes and poured my heart and soul into three-times-a-week rehearsals — and those kiddos whose parents worked at the news channel got to fast-track their way to T.V. every year. This still happens. Sometimes they even deliver inconsequential reports in tiny, adorable suits. I imagine that behind the scenes, one has a child-sized slate or a miniature boom mic. If you are a news anchor, or otherwise involved in television production, and you don’t take your child to work today, I really have no words for you.

Grocery Store

All right, I know people who don’t live near Wegmans grocery stores are really bored of people talking up how great Wegmans is. But our hometown is the base of Wegmans and it was practically the only city that had them when we were growing up. It was – and still is – one of the biggest local employers. And as such, there were always a few kids in your class who had a parent who worked there, and let me tell you, they put on a mean Take Your Daughter To Work Day. There were bakery tours, and cooking demos, and tiny chefs hats, and aprons, and stepstools. Fortunately, if your parents worked elsewhere they put on a mean fourth grade field trip.

Fashion Designer

Nobody’s parent is really a fashion designer – for real, comment if your parent is a fashion designer – but remember in The Parent Trap when Hallie goes to that shoot with her mom and gets to help style it and somehow appears in it as well? It was such a fun montage but for some lucky kid out there, it isn’t just a montage – it’s real life.

Florist

Basically, any job where there’s a hands-on activity would be the greatest. Working at a flower shop would be like a day-long art project. There would probably be flowers that didn’t make the cut that you’d be allowed to play with, and I bet there’s even a good chance you’d get to use the cash register. Allergy kids need not apply.

The White House

A backstage tour of the White House! Possibly meeting the President or First Lady or, heck, even Bo! Visiting the seat of American democracy! Okay, so no surprise here: I was one of those kids who really, really wanted to be the president when I grew up. My family went to Washington, D.C. when I was seven, and I was wide-eyed when I got to visit Congress, see the Declaration of Independence close-up, and stand next to the Lincoln Memorial. Nerd. But a whole day at the White House? I couldn’t have even dreamed it. Lucky kids – now you can go there for Take Your Child To Work Day even if your parents don’t work there!

Even better – the White House has asked other employers to do the same, opening their doors to kids in the community who can’t shadow a parent … or whose parents have boring jobs, maybe. Imagine your dream job as a fifth-grader, then imagine if your school worked to get you to spend a day living it. So amazing!

Firefighter

There’s a reason firefighter is one of the top jobs little kids say they want when they grow up. It’s cool. There’s danger, and uniforms, and trucks, and sometimes dogs. Obviously you’d have to keep children away from, well, fire, but a day learning about their community heroes would be really great for a lot of kids.

DJ

Judging by this picture’s popularity online, a lot of adults and kids would love to spend a day stepping into a D.J.’s shoes. Personally, heavy club beats and sweaty crowds sound like no fun, and what can I say, I usually like being the only Molly in the room … but mixing beats would be so much more interesting than beating those hollow wood sticks against each other in music class.

Paper Company

No? Oh well.